I view chain drives the same way you do.....I don't want one on ANY bike I buy. I hear all this talk about "chains aren't the same as they used to be" and no offense to those that say that, but there still is a maintenance job that has to be done to lube them around 500 miles. Not to mention the cost of the chain and the sprockets that have to be replaced too. And there is no reason to have to do that on a sport tourer. There is never any talk about the lightweight alternative to the chain: BELT DRIVE! Belt can be adjusted at tire changes. So the choice isn't CHAIN or SHAFT only, the third choice is BELT. And it doesn't add weight. What's not to like.It makes me a little sad that manufacturers are releasing the next generation of "touring" bikes and they all seem to be chain final drives. I feel like that's great if by "touring" you only plan on doing <500 mile trips. I know the pricing is a tier down, but chain maintenance on a touring bike seems a bit like dragging an anchor compared to the past/current gen tourers with shaft drives such as the ST, FJR, Concours, R 1250, K 1600, Goldwing, etc. I hope this isn't going to be the new standard.
I know I shared this opinion two pages back. I like the look of the bike, I just can't get past the chain.
I was so excited when I saw the announcement for the N1100 from Honda. Then I saw the video and noticed the chain drive, and all of a sudden the excitement rushed out of my body! The ADV bike people claim a chain drive is needed for fixing in the brushland if it breaks. OK, that's fair. But on a TOURER you're not in the BRUSH, so what's your excuse now? Besides, if you have a cover over the belt you aren't going to get a rock that breaks your belt. So that excuse goes by the wayside too.
Finally, because of the lubing, cost of the lube, cost of the chain, costs of the sprockets, the MANUFACTURER may be saving initial money to keep the Purchase price down, but YOU have to pay the money for all the resulting ownership costs of a CHAIN DRIVE. I'd rather just pay for a Belt drive or Shaft drive upfront at Purchase time and not have any maintenance to do every 500 miles.
***REAL REASON: I'm 76 and don't need to be down on my knees crawling around a bike spraying lube on a chain. It's hard enough to trim my toenails. LOL!!